Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Halloween and Exhibition Presentations!

Ellie Healy writes......
The past two weeks seem to have been a blur. Halloween day was a party for all of us. The Ladakhis were having their presentations about their responsibilities (milking the cow, electricity, etc.). It was a full out affair, with the main hall covered in streamers and the Ladakhis in full traditional Tibetan dress. We had our Halloween costumes that we made, and had been wearing them throughout the day. Ruth was a witch (after watching The Wizard of Oz all of the SECMOLpas insisted that she was the wicked witch of the west), Conor was a vampire (they had trouble understanding that), Hannah was the cutiest pumpkin even (they too didn't really understand this), Emily was a Greek Goddest, Keegan was a ninja, and I was a black cat. Hayden had already left for his homestay at Lamauyru monestary, so he missed this day. When the presentations came around, we all had to find the most formal clothes that we had, because we were presenting along with our fellow SECMOLpas that we did responsibilities with. It was fairly long, but fun, because it was broken up with song and dance from the students. They had been practicing these songs and dances for the entire week prior. Our VIS group was asked to do a song, which we... obliged. We picked 'Yellow Submarine' by The Beatles, and Emily (even though she has an extensive background in dance) thought of simple moves for the rest of us to do. We weren't looking forward to it, but it went well, with our cut-out props of submarines and aquatic life. After the presentations, it was back into our costumes for the most amazing dinner, and passing out candy to everyone. The SECMOL students had watched E.T. but I think that most were still sort of confused. Following dinner was one of the longest dance parties that I've been to. Usually then end at 10 and eveyone goes to bed, but that night we were up till 1am. Keegan and I were the last VISpas representing at the dancing. Many of us still don't really enjoy the Ladakhi taste in music, but I've come to love it.
The following morning, all of the VISpas left for their homestays. Emily went to Leh, with Nima (a SECMOL student) to learn more about Buddhist and Muslim conflicts. Ruth stayed at SECMOL to map out SECMOL mountain. Conor went to the Leh housing colony to learn about housing development. I went with Chusket (another SECMOL student) to Choglumsar to learn more about Amchis. Hannah went to Choglamsar to work with children through art, who were affected by the flood. Keegan went to Choglamsar to learn more about the Tibetan conflict. It was the longest time that we had all been away from each other, and when we all saw one another in the SECMOL kitchen, it was one of the happiest times. But then it was time for work. We got back the Monday and had to present the coming Saturday. The week was mayham with everyone cranking out papers, posters, speeches, and videos. Holly and Nate were very merciful, having the date changed to the 14th. The day finally came and the main hall was in streamers again. The boys had suits tailored and the girls dressed in their best. Everyones presentations went amazingly. We spent most of the day and then took a break for a fabulous lunch. (I'd present more if we always got this good food.) Then we ended the day with a hike up SECMOL mountain with all the SECMOL students. Now there is only three days left for the VIS group here, and I can't believe it.

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